The 2021 census is just around the corner, but for the family or local historian it comes with the excitement of a census being released; in this case the 1921 (although we still have to wait to next January to be able to digitally access it because of the 100 year disclosure rule and the time for it to be transcribed). 

Sugar rationing imposed during WW1 had just ended, but on 31st March 1921 a State of Emergency was declared after a coal miner’s strike was called, which led to the rationing of coal on April 3rd until the strike ended on 28th June. The census should have been on April 24th but was postponed until 19th June because of the strikes. 

The 1911 census (the most recent available one) shows the following for each household: * Address (should be in the bottom right hand corner) * Name * Relationship to the head of the household * Condition – whether married, single/unmarried or widowed * Age & sex * The number of years a woman has been married, number of children born to that marriage, number of children still alive and number of those who have died. * Occupation & industry * Whether employer, employed or unemployed * Where born – may be a parish and county, a city or a country, e.g. Scotland or Ireland * Whether blind or deaf and dumb, “lunatic”, “imbecile” or “idiot” * Number of rooms (at the bottom of the page) 

The 1921 census went into more detail than the previous one in 1911, and includes profession and branch within it, the place of work and employer’s name, marital status (including divorce) for anyone aged 15 or over and more details on education.

The population of England and Wales in 1921 was just over 37 million and in Gloucestershire 50,035. Looking at the 1911 census, there were 341 people (149 males, 192 females) living in Highnam, Over and Linton and another 44 (22 males, 22 females) in Lassington: a total of 385. This included the 16 female staff led by Miss Clara Brunt at the Hospital for Infectious Diseases at Over and 19 patients ranging from 2 years old to 34. Of those, 12 had scarlet fever, 7 diphtheria. 

In 1911, the Dog at Over was run by Edward Lodge and his wife Mary Louise, who lived along with their baby daughter Mollie and Mary’s retired father Alfred Rodgers, a bar maid, a domestic servant and two lodgers – one a farm worker and one a nurse at Gloucester Infirmary. Whether he will still be there in 1921 census remains to be seen. 

The parishes covered much the same land as they do today but with fewer houses –  a cluster of cottages, the Dog Inn, the GWR Junction and the Isolation Hospital at Over, a ribbon of farms and their buildings from Over along the Wales Road to Beauchamp House, down to the Highnam Green community and Post Office via Two Mile Lane including Highnam Court, the School House and Rectory then along to Lassington, the farms and Court. 

We will be looking at some of the families who have lived in the parishes over the last 200 years and hope to add to the website in the spring.  If you have any info, stories or pictures of local families we’d love to hear from you.